A Basic Income Is Inevitable

Millennials will bring forth this revolutionary policy

The consequences of growing income inequality are severe. Weakening democracies, rising prejudice, and growing anger are all brought forth when the gap between the rich and everyone else keeps growing.

The Millennial Generation is suffering the most from the broken economy. As reported in the Guardian:

“Using exclusive data from the largest database of international incomes in the world, at LIS (Luxembourg Income Study): Cross-National Data Center, the investigation into the situation in Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the US has also established that:

  • Prosperity has plummeted for young adults in the rich world.
  • In the US, under-30s are now poorer than retired people.
  • In the UK, pensioner disposable income has grown prodigiously – three times as fast as the income of young people.
  • Millennials have suffered real terms losses in wages in the US, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Canada and in some countries this was underway even before the 2008 financial crisis.”

What this means is that as the gap between rich and poor grows, we are also seeing a growing gap between young and old.

Added to this is the decline in stable work, and the rise in part-time piecemeal work – AKA the “Gig Economy.” Current welfare systems are terribly out of step with this changing economy. Designed to help people in between long stretches of stable employment, welfare systems around the world are straining under the pressure of the new economy.

The future of welfare systems must track the changing attitudes of the Millennial Generation. They must be flexible, adaptive, and applicable to diverse circumstances.

That is exactly what a Basic Income provides. In the Guardian, Suzanne McGee describes in detail how a Basic Income (or Guaranteed Income) would work in today’s economy.

“Recipients would be free to go out and earn more, but once they reached a certain threshold (again, the levels remain up for debate), tax policy would ensure that the UBI payouts would be clawed back. So, if you’re making $100,000 a year in addition to your $12,000 in UBI, your UBI payments would be refunded to the government through the tax system. On the other hand, if all you can earn, through your Uber/Etsy/Airbnb/TaskRabbit gigs, is $17,500 a year, you’d have your extra $10,000 as well.”

A new economy requires new ideas. While current politicians are stuck in old ways of thinking, the Millennial Generation is not shackled by ideas that do not work. Our world desperately needs change, and change requires the influence of a new generation.

Addressing the three massive problems of growing income inequality, growing generational inequality, and declining job security will require a revolutionary shift in policy. It will require a Basic Income. It is inevitable. The Millennial Generation is poised to make it happen.


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Photo credit: Christopher Andrews (Flickr) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

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